By Hope S. Philbrick
My personal affection for Lord Baltimore Hotel began while I was sitting behind my desk in my home office. Struggling with details of a trip to Maryland that began as a quick weekend romantic getaway but morphed into a 10-day multi-destination working “vacation,” I called the hotel’s concierge for help. At the end of my stay, how could I most easily and affordably get from the hotel to a car rental place?
“Just walk across the street to the Avis counter inside the Radisson next door,” he suggested. Problem solved in an easier-than-I’d-dared-to-dream way! Plus, this concierge prioritized offering me a genuine solution above any potential risks of naming a competitor.
That level of genuine customer service continued when our taxi pulled up to the front door—a valet/bellhop whisked all our luggage to the check-in desk while we were still climbing out of the back seat. Then the friendly, smiling guy who verified our credit card details seemed genuinely interested in where we were going to eat dinner; he was ready to offer suggestions if we didn’t already have a plan. (I’m a food writer/editor so of course I have an eating agenda!)
The place makes a stunning first impression: The lobby ceiling is a real WOW, as is the décor in the Versailles Room (briefly used as a restaurant but now an event space). Skybar, the rooftop patio and bar we would later discover on the 19th floor, is a fun place to grab a cocktail and mingle with locals and other guests while gazing across Baltimore.
Lord Baltimore Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Baltimore. B&O American Brassiere is a short stroll around the corner. Aldo’s Little Italy is a short cab ride away. Inner Harbor, with all its restaurants and attractions, is within easy walking distance. Whether you travel to Baltimore by Amtrak or airplane, once at the hotel you don’t really need a car to explore the city. So take a taxi cab and relax.
Originally opened on December 30, 1928 and designed in the French Renaissance style, Lord Baltimore Hotel soars 23 stories high. A member of Historic Hotels of America, the hotel offers 440 guestrooms and suites including four full-floor penthouses that may be worth the splurge because their panoramic views of downtown Baltimore must be amazing.
Rubell Hotels acquired the property in 2013; renovations concluded in March 2014. According to press materials, the restoration was spearheaded by New York-based interior
designer Scott Sanders, formerly a designer for Ralph Lauren. His “New American Style” nods to the property’s grand hotel heritage with gold and gloss touches while a soothing black and grey mix of menswear fabrics accented by bright colors pays homage to both the historical, eponymous six Lords Baltimore and the hotel’s business travelers. More than 2,500 original works of art are displayed in guestrooms and public spaces. There’s also a Google-inspired project featuring images of people and places in Baltimore, executed by The Rubell Family Collection graphic design team. (The Rubell Family Collection is one of the world’s largest private family art collections open to the public and has been located in Miami, Florida for the last 20 years.)
Among its many awards and accolades, Lord Baltimore Hotel was named “Best City Center Historic Hotel” in 2014 by Historic Hotels of America, “Best Historic Hotel” in 2015 by 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, one of the “50 Most Stunning Historic Hotels in America” by Country Living in 2016, and a “Preferred Hotel” in 2018 by HotelPlanner.
Even if you’re not visiting friends in Baltimore, you can feel like you have some friends in the city by staying at Lord Baltimore Hotel. The hotel takes care of customers with sincere service, affordable prices, and useful amenities.
1. Adults Only/Odds of Encountering Children—The hotel has an adult vibe. We rode an elevator with a family once; it was the only time we saw children during our weekend visit.
2. Parking—Self parking plus valet service with in-out privileges available.
3. Cleanliness—With bright white linens, the bed seemed especially crisp. All hotel guestrooms are 100% smoke free.
4. Space—Two adults easily shared a king room. In addition to a folding luggage rack, a bench at the end of the bed can hold a suitcase. The closet is spacious with a reasonable number of hangars. Four full-floor 3,000-square-foot penthouse suites are available if you really want to sprawl out.
5. Kitchen(ette)—In-room refrigerator. Microwave available on each floor.
6. Coffee/Tea—In-room maker.
7. Glassware/Ice—Vessels provided. Ice machine available.
8. Tub/Shower—Traditional tub/shower combo. Standard showerhead.
9. Temperature—In-room thermostat.
10. Linens/Mattress—A crisp, white top sheet bears the name of the hotel. Comfortable mattress. Pillows and towels show some age.
11. Hooks/Towel Bars—Some, but we could have used a few more.
12. Hair Dryer—Provided.
13. Window Treatments—Room darkening draperies.
14. Seating—Our guestroom offered one upholstered chair, one desk chair, plus a bench at the end of the bed (which can work as seating if it’s not holding a suitcase).
15. Work-Friendly—Complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access. Spacious desk.
16. Accessible Outlets—Yes, charge electronics with ease.
17. Pet-Friendly—Up to two animals with a combined weight of up to 80 pounds are allowed. A $50 non-refundable cleaning fee is due at check-in. Pet beds and dishes are provided.
18. Service—Friendly, genuinely helpful staff members. Concierge services available.
19. Pool/Hut Tub—None. This may actually help in keeping the hotel adults-oriented since families with young children tend to favor hotels with pools to help tire them out.
20. On-Site Amenities—Full-service business center, fitness center, event space, on-site dining (LB Bakery, LB Tavern), Skybar rooftop lounge, and LB Club Level (with private lounge and complimentary breakfast).
21. Accessibility—Elevator. Spacious hallways.
Lord Baltimore Hotel
20 W. Baltimore St.
Baltimore MD 21201
Rates start at $150/night.
– Photos Courtesy Lord Baltimore Hotel
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to Lord Baltimore Hotel for hosting my stay.